Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Salon: New Year, New Start

Long time, no see friends! Happy New Year! I blew off last Sunday Salon, and basked in the holiday sloth. But now I'm back, and full of piss and vinegar.

We had a great holiday. I received wonderful gifts...a Cuisinart Griddler, a Nike chip that goes into my shoe to track miles walked, gift cards for shopping, a gift card to the spa, new golf shoes, a renewal for Bookmarks, lotions, perfume...woo hoo! I hosted Christmas Eve and Christmas at my house, cooked my brains out, and had quality time with my family. We went to the Champs Bowl, we hosted 16 people at our house for New Years, and now all I want to do is collapse! (But not for too long...I am arranging a birthday party for my husband's 50th in a couple of weeks! And my son starts a new season of football...) Today my family is going to take the boat on the lake and have a relaxing picnic. Get the kids back to school and I will be golden.

I've been attempting to keep up with the blogs the best I can...all those Best Of Lists have been awesome (seeing alot of Fingersmith guys!). I've been attempting (and failing) to keep up with my reviews. I'm going to be featured at The Scene of the Blog sometime in the next month or two...stay tuned for that. I have yet to put pen to paper on the resolutions. But I'd say simplicity should be one of the goals for blogging. Read what I have. Read what I want. Personally, I'll need to be dropping a few pounds, get back into shape, and stay sane while I manage a few home improvement projects.

What about the reading? On audio, I finished Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation", which I enjoyed. She is a funny lady. I am now on the mission to get through "Freedom", all 19 discs, for my book club. Jury is out on whether I'm loving it or not. With Franzen's "The Corrections", I hated it until I finished it, then I loved it. Maybe this is the same deal, I don't know.

For printed books, I am reading all of my author-signed novels so I can then donate them to my Adult Literacy League event this spring. I read "Song of the Sparrow", a YA book that draws on King Arthur and his knights of the round table, and thought it was wonderful. I am now reading "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards, the author of "The Memory Keeper's Daughter". No opinion yet...only 60 pages into it. I also read "And the Pursuit of Happiness", an impromptu treasure from the library, and a graphic novel that has been getting some attention. It blew me away.

A little administration: A month or two ago, I removed my word verification for comments, just to make things easier on you all. Good Lord, the spammers pounced like hyenas on fresh antelope meat. These idiots are the devil's spawn. I may need to institute the word thing again if it gets much worse...I apologize in advance.

Lastly, I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your support and friendship in 2010. Many of you all have been there, and you know there are days when you wonder why you are killing yourself over something that earns little to no money. But then I get e-mails and comments from you that make my day, and justify what I am doing. Some of you are new friends, some I've known for 2 1/2 years, and some forever. Every one of you guys rock!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. 2011 is going to be amazing!


Unknown said...

I'm attempting to keep up with blogs, but failing! I'm loving reading all the 'best of lists' but with less time I am failing further and futher behind. Nevermind. I'm enjoying it all and will catch up eventually.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday party for your husband and I wish you luck with the house improvements.

Have a wonderful 2011!

Alice said...

Hi Sandy! I missed blogging and I definitely miss you and all my blogger friends.

This year, I will continue to keep up with my fitness goals. I have an additional goal and that is to master the Mandarin language.

Happy reading to you!

Elisabeth said...

Happy New Year to you too!!!

bermudaonion said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! I'm ready for things to get "back to normal" here too. Happy New Year, Sandy! I'm so glad I got to meet you in 2009.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

What a lovely holiday you had! Me, too.

And I like your idea about keeping things simple. Simple is good.

Happy New Year!

Here's my Sunday Salon!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Fortunately wordpress has a good spam catcher - there are some days I'm just inundated but the spam only shows up on my administration site, not the blog. If anyone is wondering, it appears that porn is alive and well in Russia...

Molly said...

Sounds like a lovely, albeit busy, Christmas. I would love to read a review of the Cuisinart Griddler :)

I totally agree with your assessment of spammers -- I am very frustrated with them at this point. I have opted to moderate each comment rather than word identification.

I hope the boating time is relaxing and helps to start the New Year off on the right, simplistic, foot.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I hated The Corrections so much that I never made it past the first chapter. It's interesting that you say you didn't like it to the end. I still have my copy. Was it really worth all the pain?

Unknown said...

The new spam filter on Blogger is working well for me. I turned off word verification months ago and have not had a single spam comment get through.

I do moderate all comments for posts up more than 48 hours. Those get spam now and then.

I'll be curious to see how this works for you.

JoAnn said...

Freedom does have a very powerful ending.... maybe you're in for another experience like The Corrections. I loved them both!

Julie P. said...

Happy New Year. Like you, I'm ready to just collapse. Looking forward to more of your great recommendations in 2011!

Literary Feline said...

I am glad you had such a nice Christmas, Sandy. I admire how well you pull everything off!

I haven't worked up any enthusiasm about reading Freedom, so am not sure if I will or not. It's gotten a lot of rave reviews from fellow bloggers.

I've found the same when I took off word verification--so back on it went. I don't mind having to do it personally. Plus, it's kind of fun when the letters actually make a little sense.

Have a great week and a Happy New Year!

Darlene said...

My goodness did you ever have a busy Christmas and New Years! I don't know how you do it Sandy! You're wonder woman I think.

I keep trying to keep up but don't always do to good when it comes to the blogs. Somehow I used to be able to fit it all in but it seems so much harder now.

Good luck with hubby's birthday party! Have a great Sunday.

Amy said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well. Definitely hard to keep up over the busy holiday season, I'm impressed with you for attempting it! All the best in 2011.

ds said...

Glad you had such a wonderful holiday!I'm behind, so will catch up with your best of... lists asap.
I'm curious, though. If you didn't like The Corrections until the very end, what made you change your mind? I didn't care for the novel at all, with the exception of a section in the middle, but so many have loved it.

Happy New Year, happy party planning, happy(?) home improvement projects, and happy happy picnic with the family!!!

Melissa said...

Happy New Year!! I love all the Best Of lists this time of year!

Gavin said...

Happy 2011, Sandy! It is great fun reading your posts and getting a glimpse of your busy life. I'm looking forward to a wonderful new year with my bookish, blogging friends!

Melody said...

Happy New Year, Sandy!
I had fun reading all those "Best Of" lists... but then that also means most of them will be going onto my wishlist as well, ha.

Simplicity is my goal for blogging too...with so many things going on around me (e.g. my eldest attending Primary One!!) I'll have to be more organised and not having to stress myself over things easily or too much.

Let's hope 2011 will be even better than the last!

Zibilee said...

It does sound like you had an amazing holiday season this year, and that you were working your butt off too! I am glad to hear that things will be getting back to normal soon for you, and I look forward to hearing what you think of the things you are reading. Particularly Assassination Vacation, as that one has been on my list for a long time now!!

Cathy said...

Sandy, Best wishes for 2011. Of all the blogs I'm subscribed to, there are a handful that I read every day, and thoroughly enjoy, every time. Yours is right there at the top. Please, keep on blogging!:)

Ti said...

A chip that goes into your shoe? Now that's a smart idea. I hate pedometers.

Happy New Year, Sandy! It sounds as if you celebrated to your heart's content, which is the only way to do it.

Carrie K. said...

Happy New Year, Sandy! I'm with Nicole on The Corrections - never made it past chapter one, and that has made me hesitate to pick up Freedom. I'll be curious to see your review.

Alyce said...

It sounds like you had a great (busy) Christmas. I'm looking forward to having my boys be back at school mostly because I can tell they need social time with their friends.

Anyway, I hope 2011 is a fabulous year for you!

Yvann said...

Glad you enjoyed your hectic but happy Christmas!

Will be interested to see what you have to say about Freedom.

And re keeping up with blogs - I have the currently-excellent but potentially-disastrous tactic of saving up book reviews in Delicious and then linking to them in reviews/going back to leave comments. The downside is that sometimes it's 18 months from the original review!

So I'm sure you are doing better than me!

Trisha said...

You are such an energetic person!

I am with you on the resolutions. I keep procrastinating on writing them down, even though I plan on keeping things pretty simple.

Unknown said...

You are a treasure and a kindred spirit, Sandy! I'm glad you relaxed blogging a bit and had a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year! You deserve it.

Simple sounds good to me, although it can be hard to do sometimes.
Best wishes for a terrific 2011!
~ Amy

Iliana said...

Aren't all those best of lists awesome. I love this time of the year in the book blogosphere.

How you have managed to keep up with your reading with all you've had going on is beside me! I'd need a vacation to get over all those comings & goings :)

Look forward to your reviews Sandy and yes, 2011 is going to be great!

Susan said...

Sandy, I love your enthusiasm and energy! It makes me want to get up and DO something! I'm getting on the treadmill this morning, do or die. I'm such a slug. I pledged to lose 10 pounds on the Biggest Loser Pound for Pound challenge so I would have some accountability, if only to myself. I wish we lived in Florida...I would be out there every day walking and getting fit. The winter here has been horrible so far, and I just can't get up the cojones to walk in 32 degrees with 15 mph winds. Ugh.

I've got three big events coming up this year...hubby's retirement party (which he doesn't want), my in-laws' 50th anniversary, and our daughter's "re-wedding". Could I just hire you to plan and execute all three? I think it will be the end of me. :)

Happy New Year, dear friend! Hubs and I are planning to come to Florida sometime this year...maybe we can do lunch.

Kathleen said...

Your post made me smile, as it usually does. You always have an energy and positive outlook on things and that really comes through on your blog. I'm excited to hear all about the books you will read and listen to this year. Best to you and your family in 2011!

Jenners said...

I just started Freedom. I remember not being 100% in love with "The Corrections" but thought it was worth reading and there were moments of pure greatness. Reading it now, I can't quite imagine it on audio!!!

Good luck fighting the spammers. The best way is to disable the anonymous option .. but then people will complain about it. Or add comment moderation for posts older than 7 days. Good luck ... it is an uphill battle.